Permanent Savings

With yet another shifting of the clocks forward to begin Daylight Saving Time, the frustration I (and many others) shared with super-early sunsets was alleviated. Finally we got back to a time I prefer where it will get dark at sometime closer to 6:30 than 5:30. Then out of nowhere, it seems this change is on its way to becoming permanent.

Without any sort of fanfare or reporting before the fact, the United States Senate voted on the "Sunshine Protection Act" (talk about an over-dramatic name!) that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent beginning in 2023. Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica has more.

The result would permanently leave clocks and timetables in the "spring forward" state of DST beginning in 2023, with the exception of states that had previously established specific time-change rules based on issues like different time zones in the same state. In terms of US politics, it's unclear whether either major American party will mount serious opposition in the House to its eventual vote there—and President Joe Biden has yet to announce his stance on the bill.

Ars Technica

What is almost more impressive than this bill itself is that it passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent. This means not a single person voted against it. Mind. Blown. I guess if anything can bring everyone together, it's the desire to stop shifting the clocks twice a year for no reason except "it's always what we've done".

One important fact that moving to a permanent DST does address is safety. With the "fall back" change wherein it's darker earlier, more people are on the road when it's dark. A study in 2004 showed an increase in deaths by drivers and pedestrians during the Standard time months. So, while it is great to cheer for this to possibly become law simply because I and many others prefer it, there are tangible benefits to making DST permanent.

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